Pulpmovies Cult Film Reviews
Bela Lugosis final speaking role and the only of Ed Woods film to make a profit. This terrible sub-Frankenstein monster movie really does have to be seen to be believed.
The plot revolves around Dr Vornoff (Lugosi) and his plans to create a race of atomic supermen. There is also a monster swimming around in the alligator infested Lake Marsh (mainly stock footage of a squid but they also managed to steal a motorless rubber octopus with a missing leg for the climax) which acts to drive the plot forward and as a way of neatly wrapping things up.
The film itself largely involves Lugosi hamming it up as an East-European mad scientist while his assistant, Lobo (Tor Johnson) attempts to play Frankensteins monster but with no make-up. Theres not a great deal of angora in the film, but it does become the focus of Lobos badly acted infatuation with kidnapped journalist Jan Lawton (Loretta King in the part written for Dolores Fuller - another classic cock-up; According to Fuller who was Eds girlfriend at the time, King got the part because she agreed to put up the $60,000 needed to complete the film; According to King, she neither had nor offered any money and had gotten the part on the basis of her talent which Ed had managed to establish while talking to her in a night club).
As with all of Ed Woods films, the storyline is clichéd beyond belief, the acting is terrible and the special effects are cheap even for their time. Potential subplots constantly emerge only to be consigned to the dustbin as Ed Wood makes his dash for the truly awful climax. And the dialogue is cheesy enough to embarass an actor in an Austrailian soap opera.
As an aside, have you ever noticed how bad filmmakers look even worse when they try to ape their heroes? Several of the scenes with Vornoff and Lawton conclude with Vornoff using his hitherto unmentioned hypnotic powers to send Lawton to sleep, depicted with a close up of Lugosis eyes which is straight out of Tod Brownings Dracula.
Bride of the Monster does contain a couple of not so bad moments, including quite a good fight scene involving Lobo and Lawtons policeman Fiance Dick Craig (Tony McCoy who got the part because his father largely funded the movie) which probably owes more to Johnsons professional wrestling background than to any suddenly inspired directing. But on the whole its a film that is so inept it goes beyond bad and enters a whole new genre of accidental comedy.